By: Vincent Stein
August 5, 2012
I read Susan Egan's recent commentary ("What Texans don't miss about New York," July 24) and had to laugh within. Ms. Egan, a Texas native who lived in our area for a time, discussed the negative aspects of the tax structure in New York as well as the way our politicians do business. While many of her complaints are certainly true, is New York the only state that has deficiencies in some areas?
Ms. Egan mentioned in closing that Texas isn't perfect but there is no state income tax and that residents are proud to be there. She also mentioned New Yorkers are not proud to fly their state flag as Texans are. This may be explained by Texas Gov. Rick Perry's Enhanced Coverage LinkingGov. Rick Perry's -Search using:News, Most Recent 60 DaysBiographies Plus Newsrecent assertion that Texans may want to secede from the United States. Proud Texans they are.
Texas is such a great state that, in a recent study by the Corporation for Enterprise Development, a national nonprofit dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for low-income families and communities, it ranked 41st overall. The same study also ranked it 37th in terms of financial assets and income; 34th in businesses and jobs; and 51st in the percentage of adults with high school diplomas.
Social problems in Texas are also evident. The state ranks sixth in terms of people living in poverty; it has one of the tightest income limits for those seeking federal assistance; and it offers one of the most meager benefits for families in need. It also has the highest percentage of its workforce earning minimum wage as well as having one of the most unequal distributions of wealth in the United States.
Texas does lead the nation in one category: Executions, as Gov. recently boasted during the Republican primary campaign.
While it is true that New Yorkers pay relatively high taxes, it is also true that New York ranks 34th in its high school graduation rate (75% graduate from high school) and 17th in poverty. This is far above the rankings in Texas.
Yes, no one wants to pay high taxes but no one wants to live in poverty or have its residents uneducated either. New Yorkers are proud, too.